SOULMAN AND BELFAST native Van Morrison has been awarded a knighthood at Buckingham Palace after entertaining audiences across the world for the past five decades.
The singer was introduced as Sir Ivan Morrison by the Prince of Wales as he stepped forward to receive the honour yesterday.
“For 53 years I’ve been in the business – that’s not bad for a blue-eyed soul singer from East Belfast,” he said after receiving the honour.
He was bestowed the knighthood for his musical achievements, as well as his services to tourism and charitable causes in the North of Ireland.
The 70-year-old’s award-winning career has seen him release 35 studio albums and more than 70 singles since his debut Brown Eyed Girl in 1967.
Sir Morrison also revealed his future career plans to Prince Charles after the investiture of knighthood.
“He was just saying, was I still writing? And he said: ‘You’re not going to retire anytime soon?’ And I said: ‘No, I’m not, I’m going to keep it going while I can’,” he revealed.
Sir Morrison was among 80 Northern Irish people announced for the Queen’s 2016 New Year Honours by Buckingham Palace on December 31.
Growing up in Bloomfield, East Belfast, Morrison’s love of music was influenced by his father George, who was said to have the biggest record collection in the city.
He began his professional career as a young man, first propelled into the spotlight with his blues-rock band Them.
After departing the band in the early 1960s, Sir Morrison launched a successful solo career that would surpass the level of fame he had experienced with Them.
He will depart for his latest tour in early March, performing in Denmark, Germany, the US and finishing in his native North of Ireland in August.